Finished waist too small
4 years ago
I thought I’d start a new post for my problem, so it didn’t get confused with the opposite problem previously reported in another thread. I believe @ejensewchat has had the same problem (unsure of which size she was sewing)
I’ve made the size 14 Girl Friday culottes and the finished waist has turned out about 3 inches smaller than intended.
I have rechecked my drafted pattern pieces against the original pattern and all three relevant pieces (front, back and waistband) are exactly size 14 with all notches and markings transferred exactly as per the pattern.
I’ve re-read the instructions for creating the back darts, front and back box pleats and the front pleats. I believe I have sewn all of these correctly.
When I went to attach the waistband it was considerably LONGER than the culottes. I foolishly thought the culottes were fitting OK so I trimmed the waistband to fit the culottes and it has all ended up far too small (finished waist of about 31″ instead of 34.5″)
After checking that the pattern pieces were drafted correctly I pinned all the pleats in the drafted interfacing pieces, overlapped the side seams such that the notches were aligned (as they get basted when constructing the pockets). Still the waistband is about 2-3 inches longer than the pants would be. Thus, my pattern pieces (which match the original pattern) are giving me the same problem as my cut fabric did.
When the center waistband notch is aligned with the pinned side seam, all of the other waistband notches are 0.5″ or more beyond the corresponding notch on the pants.
It would appear that the waistband is the right length. I can not see how I am going wrong such that my pants are ending up so much smaller than my waistband.
Help please @liesl….4 years ago
I’m looking into this and will get back to you shortly. Very sorry for the troubles!
Liesl4 years ago
Ok, I’ve spent the morning checking and re-checking and re-checking, and I can’t figure out what could be wrong. The grading all appears to be correct (after going over and over it), and when I look at the pieces everything seems to be in order. I truly can’t figure out where you might be running into a problem here.
The common problem seems to be forgetting to baste the pockets closed from the notches to the dots, which makes the culottes seem much wider than the waistband. But as to why your culottes would seem smaller than the waistband, I’m befuddled. But I’m making another pair this weekend, so let me continue to ponder this as I sew and maybe I’ll figure it out?
I know how frustrating it can be when the pattern doesn’t seem to work, so I apologize for that. We’re going to be doing a sew-along for the culottes in January (Rachel will announce it next week), so maybe that will help clear up any future confusion. But I don’t want you to wait that long!
Stay tuned…4 years agomeleliza @meleliza
I typed out my whole reply and then it must have been eaten up! I’m just realizing it’s not here.
Anyway, I made these up in the testing phase and remember I had to read the pocket instructions several times to get it right. I had basted them together to try on and thought they were really big, so I took them in a little. Only to discover that actually, I hadn’t placed the pockets correctly. They’re not the typical inseam pockets, rather set in a little which keeps them hidden and covers the zipper.
Once I fixed it, my waist was too small, but only by about one size, so I was able to eek some extra room out of the waist. I also shed a couple of summer pounds, which helped too. 🙂
Shelley, do you have enough extra fabric to cut a new waistband? If not, could you cut a new waistband out of coordinating fabric? Or maybe piece the waistband together, having seams at each side. You may be able to fudge the pleats and pocket placement a little to gain room there.
HTH!4 years ago
Thanks @meleliza. I think I got the pockets right. I was very impressed with how the zipper was hidden inside one of the pockets.
These culottes are finished such that I need to either shed at least five kilos or gift them on.
I have plenty of fabric to try again, but perhaps not enough time!
I’ll cut just the top five inches out of muslin and make them up as per the instructions before I cut another full pair out of wearable fabric.4 years ago
Or to save them, you could always take a smaller front and back pleat. Those pleats are very forgiving.
I’m going to take another look at this today to make sure it’s correct. Everything looks right, but I think I should walk the pattern to be absolutely sure, since it’s causing you problems.4 years ago
Ladies, I’ve finally found the problem! It’s quite simple. And totally silly on my party. I reversed the size labels for the center front and center back pleats, so the lines and dots that are labelled size 0 should actually be size 20. And vice versa.
I’m so sorry about this! Thanks for your patience while I figured it out. The good news is that you can easily fix it by changing the size of the pleat. Just switch the size labels on your pattern piece and you’ll be all set.
We’ll issue an errata and update the pattern asap.4 years agoTodd GibsonKeymaster@todd
The pattern has now been corrected to show the correct size labels on the center front and center back pleats.
If you purchased the pattern prior to this posting, you can use your link to download and save an updated copy of the pattern. (The only changes are to the pleat size labels on pages 25, 41, and 51 of the PDF file.)
For anyone purchasing after the date of this posting, the pattern you download will be the corrected version.4 years ago
Glad to know i wasn’t actually mucking it up after all. The instructions are always so perfect i could see no way of getting it wrong!4 years agoNicole @motherof5
Thanks Shelley!4 years agowith love Heidi @with love Heidi
Thanks Liesl and Todd for taking the time and effort to find where the problem was and correct it. Although I probably won’t make these it’s reminded me of how much I appreciate your attention to detail! Thank you!4 years ago
Whoa, I’m still struggling on this one…
I unpicked my attached and topstitched waistband, cut a new one, unpicked the front and back box pleats and started over.
I redid the box pleats with the new correct pattern markings, and the culottes appear to fit just fine now.
As I’ve gone to attach the waistband I’ve encountered another problem with the length of the waistband….
Beginning at the back left side all the notches match the corresponding seams perfectly now, until I get to the front left side where I have a good inch of extra waistband. The last notch, which should (I think) be aligned with the zipper, is actually at the edge of the pants. I’ve attached a photo below showing this.
I certainly wouldn’t have to ease the pants onto the waistband. They are a perfect fit, or if anything the waistband is about 1/16″ longer at each section that does match. Happy to attribute that to the vagaries of pleats and seam allowances. But in that last section I have waaaaay too much waistband.
I’m so tempted to just chop it short and finish the darn things, but I don’t know why, ’cause that didn’t work for me the first time I did it! 🙂
Attachments:4 years agoRobin @Robin
I’ve made these once, but can’t remember, is it overlap for a button?4 years ago
It looks like that doesn’t it @robin. But no, the illustration and the written instruction show the waistband finishing at the pocket edge. No overlap needed ’cause the pocket overlaps itself.
Puzzling….4 years ago
I came so close to shortening the waistband again (albeit by much less) as the pants did seem to fit. But then I tried the waistband on by itself and if I shortened it, it would have been too small.
So, I pinned the ends of the waistband to the edges of the opened left pocket, ignored all notches and pinned it to fit the pants. The pants required a bit of gentle stretching in order to meet the waistband length.
There’s no doubt that my culottes were STILL a bit too small somewhere. The bit that doesn’t fit well is one inch below the waistband where the pleats finish. It looks like it’s pulling a bit there and it needs to fall freely. If it were to fit the waistband, or even eased/gathered slightly to the waistband, it would be perfect.
For the life of me I don’t know where that inch of culottes went to….. They’re wearable, and I’ll watch the sew along with curiosity.
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